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The Greek Proposal

artichoke
Some suggest that the artichoke is a symbol for peace. There are other interpretations but let’s leave it at that.

Greek Reporter has some of the text of the FINAL Greek Government proposal.

Let’s hope that peace will follow.

Sunrise later

sunrise 6jul15
No news – just a photo of the sunrise over Alonissos. The event occurs a little later each morning. Winter must be on the way (?!?).

Shamrock V…independent newshound and peripatetic photorapporteur mike snapped the classic J-Class yacht the Shamrock V, all 120 feet of her, moored off Limnonari beach yesterday morning. The eight-guest, nine-crew yacht was built in 1930 by the Camper & Nicholsons shipyard and rebuilt to original specs in 1967, and as far as we are aware does not feature a cinema, nouvelle cuisine kitchen or a single ormolu clock onboard. You can read more about her here.

Stray Care

From Stray Care Skopelos:

“Stray Care Skopelos is having a „Bric-à-Brac-sale” at its kiosk which has recently been relocated opposite to the harbor entrance on Saturday, 11 July 2015 at 7:00 pm. The donations will be used for animal castrations, food, medication, etc. to help the stray animals of Skopelos. Please come and support our charity!! THANK YOU!!”

Heart and mind

sunThe above photo is from Philippe; he calls it Hélios à Hélios. Thank you.

Greece has until Sunday to come up with a new/adjusted plan in order to remain in the euro zone. Living on an island like Skopelos that lives from tourism it is frightening to think about the possibility that visitors might cancel their holiday because they are afraid of the unknown. What the media are presenting in their country might not give the right impression of what is really going on here.

A lady who has booked a holiday in a villa has called me (Daphne) a couple of times now to ask me about the current situation. I said to her that on Skopelos visitors are enjoying their holiday without any difficulties. Their accommodations are ready, they have a car with petrol in it. The buses are running. They can take money out of the ATM with the regulations/limits of their foreign bank. A couple of days ago a lot of locals filled up the tanks of their cars because they thought there might be a shortage and there were a couple of petrol stations without petrol but within 2 days the petrol boat came and the petrol stations opened again. The supermarkets are packed with goods and the local produce is coming of the land so for vegetables and fruits you don’t need to worry, there is plenty.

The most difficult part in this story, I think, is the uncertainty of what is going to happen when an agreement is reached or not. What will the future bring? Tough decisions need to be made but not inhuman measures and the Greek people know that and we cannot do a lot about it. The people I speak tell me that they want to get on with things, they want to continue to work, keep busy. Keep living. We are now thinking only about the next day, not further into the future. The fact that those future thoughts/hopes are taken away from you is very difficult. I need to get my son to a dermatologist on the mainland. I don’t know when we can. I have an appointment for my daughter to take an orientation test for school. Can I afford to pay that money now? Living by the day has become a habit. It is too scary to think ahead. The only channel we are watching at the moment is the state channel which is kind of neutral on the subject. Why can’t all those bright minds together find a solution? They don’t want to lose face but their names will eventually show up in the history books with so much more impact if they really try to show that there is also a heart apart from a mind in their body.

This to article below was published in the Guardian –

Want to help Greece? Go there on holiday Showing solidarity through tourism is a win-win situation: you get a cheap holiday in a beautiful country; Greece gets a much-needed injection of cash By Alex Andreou for the Guardian.

Covering the Greek crisis for the past few months, the question I am asked most commonly is: “Why won’t Greece just stop whining and pay its debts?” It is quite depressing to realise there are so many people out there who think there is a mattress somewhere in Greece stuffed with a trillion euros, which we are refusing to hand over simply out of radical leftism. The second most commonly asked question, however, cheers me up significantly: “Is there any way we can help?” There is: visit Greece. The weather is just as stunning as it ever was this time of year; the archaeological sites just as interesting; the beaches just as magical; the food just as heart-healthy. The prices are significantly cheaper than usual. It is one of those rare everybody-wins situations. The people are even more welcoming, more hospitable and more grateful than ever.

The reaction to difficulty has been a broader smile, a wider embrace. We understand that you have a choice and we understand why you have chosen Greece right now. Tourism is liquidity. Tourism is solidarity. If you are thinking of helping my country in this way, there are ways to do so perfectly safely and to maximise the benefit. It is important to say that there has been no violence, at all, anywhere. And whenever there has been any trouble in the past, it has always confined itself in a very small and easily avoidable area, in the very centre of Athens. If you are feeling even a little nervous about it, plenty of airlines fly directly to dozens of resorts and stunning, out-of-the-way destinations. A British friend, Kris, who just came back from Athens, says: “It would be very easy not to know that anything was even going on … There were some queues at ATMs, but no more than in the centre of London during a busy weekend. There is no rationing or shortages. The only exception was the night of the rival rallies, for Yes and Oxi; I was absolutely amazed that they were held less than half a mile apart and there was no trouble whatsoever. From our hotel terrace, it was like listening to democracy in stereo … I would go back in a heartbeat.” Take euros with you, in cash, to cover your stay’s expenses (and possibly a backup of sterling). This way, you inject paper money directly into our economy. Hard currency is what is lacking. Keep most of it in your room safe or the hotel safe. It is sensible to split the remainder among you. Travel insurance companies have recognised that this will be the case, and most have increased the total amount of cash for which you are covered.

The best thing to do is book flights (ideally with one of the Greek airlines – there is a 40%-off sale right now on aegeanair.com) and hotels separately. If your best option is a package deal, then that is great too. The local Greek economy will still benefit when banks reopen. But the most direct way to help, in terms of injecting liquidity, is to book your accommodation directly and pay with cash once there. Prices are reported to be significantly cheaper than they usually are this time of year. Your cards will work normally everywhere, but cash is better, as people have difficulty accessing money in their account. Try to spread the solidarity around: instead of going for very popular destinations, check the smaller islands to which you can fly, or mainland destinations in the Peloponnese, Macedonia and Thessaly. Stunning beaches (and much quieter ones) are never too far away, and some of the sites you can visit are breathtaking. Olympia, the ancient theatre of Epidavros, Delphi, Vergina, Meteora (which you might remember from the climactic scene in For Your Eyes Only), Tempe, Mount Olympus – there are so many. You can find a good guide at greeka.com. Most importantly, spend your money with small local businesses whenever possible, rather than large multinationals (although even that helps – they still employ Greeks).

Your tourism is a form of resistance. You will have the time of your life while helping a nation brought to its knees by international monetary interests. Greek people and businesses are suffering because of restrictions on international transfers. People who have children studying abroad may have problems sending them money. Greeks who have gone abroad to work may not be able to send money back home. Businesses may not be able to pay for their internet hosting packages if they are based outside Greece.  Academics are losing access to scientific journals. Reach out to any family, friends or business contacts you might have in Greece, or connected to Greece. You may be able to help them in a small but vital way. You might be able to share your access to an academic journal or pay a small stipend for someone’s internet hosting as a deposit for a future holiday. People who need to send money to Greece for any reason can form reciprocal networks through social media with people in Greece who need to send money abroad. Together we can get over this bump in the road. Together we can prove that solidarity and democracy may have fizzled out as institutional concepts, but they are stronger than ever within people’s hearts. I thank you in advance. My country thanks you.

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A crop circle was discovered a few days ago near the Greek military’s top-secret brick and mortar “Emergency Command Center ECC)”. We are told that the circle, measuring 10.573 meters in diameter, cannot be seen from space, at least with conventional optical instruments and poses no threat to the public. Experts say that the Circle is possibly the work of either straw-clad cult members, an untended piece of farming equipment gone wild, overzealous ants, or God. The authorities would appreciate other suggestions, no matter how strange the suggestions may seem. One young native was seen taking no chances as he wobbled his way through the traditional four-hour “Dance of the Supplicants”.  Thanks to him at this hour all is quiet.

Swordfish

Walking by the Akteion restaurant we saw this giant swordfish ready to be put on the grill! Co-owner Prodromos looks very proud.

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